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U Library Receives $5 Million Pledge for Renovation

December 15, 2006The Marriott Library at the University of Utah recently received a $5 million pledge for its Renovation-Innovation capital campaign from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. This is the second major pledge the Marriott family has granted to the library’s renovation project, which broke ground in June of 2005. Pledges from the Marriott family total over $12 million to date.

The Marriott gift brings total project funding to $69 million, with $8 million more to raise. The funding breakdown includes $48 million from the State of Utah, $3 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and over $18 million in donations. The remaining $8 million to be raised is necessary to complete student areas such as an Advanced Technology Studio, electronic classrooms, and a Knowledge Commons.

“The Marriotts have shown extraordinary generosity from the very beginning,” explained Joyce Ogburn, University librarian and director of the J. Willard Marriott Library, “We are extremely fortunate to have the Marriotts as donors and friends. Their gifts will provide great benefits to the project.”

In 1969 the library was dedicated in J. Willard Marriott Sr.’s name, after he made a $1 million donation for books and journals to fill the then-new U library (completed in 1968). Since that time, the library has benefited from many generous gifts from the Marriotts.

In 1996 the library celebrated the completion of a new wing, which provided much needed space for reader seating and stacks. The state funding provided at that time was dedicated to the addition, leaving the original building, now almost four decades old, in need of refurbishment. Current renovations to the library include a seismic overhaul, upgrades to electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems, and the Americans with Disabilities Act code, as well as program improvements for students, which will be made possible through private donations.

“When completed, the library will be a truly stunning centerpiece,” President Young commented, “For nearly four decades the Marriott Library has served as the state’s flagship academic library. The new library building will reflect the deep value this library provides to the campus, the state, and indeed the world.”